Skip to comments.Gun Conviction Of Ernest Ramsey Stemming From Urination Stop Reversed By D.C. Court
Posted on 08/18/2013 6:35:49 AM PDT by marktwain
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a man who was charged with possession of a handgun.
According to the Legal Times, an officer approached Ernest Ramsey because he suspected that he was urinating in an alley. Somehow, the officer ended up running his name through the police database and searching him.
The court ruled that since the officer didn't have cause to look Ramsey up, the search was unlawful and a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.
Judge Phyllis Thompson wrote that without "reasonable articulable suspicion or probable cause," the police can't detain individuals to look up their information in the police database. Senior Judge Vanessa Ruiz agreed and wrote that the officer shouldnt have stopped Ramsey in the first place.
The officer testified that he saw Ramsey go into an alley that was mostly used for urination, drug sales and other crimes. When he approached Ramsay, the officer saw that his pants zipper was down and his hands were near his groin area. When the officer asked Ramsey what he was doing, Ramsey allegedly replied, "Man, I was about to use the bathroom."
The officer asked for Ramsey's identification and was mistakenly told he had an outstanding bench warrant. Ramsey consented to be searched and that was when the handgun was discovered, Legal Times reported.
"At that point, we conclude, because appellant would not have felt free to leave, the encounter became a seizure for which Officer [Kevin] Lally no longer had reasonable, articulable suspicion," Thompson said. Lally was the arresting officer.
Here is one.
“...without “reasonable articulable suspicion or probable cause,”
the police can’t detain individuals to look up their information in the police database...”
Add that one to Levin’s Liberty Amendments!
...without reasonable articulable suspicion or probable cause,
the police cant detain individuals to look up their information in the police database...
Come to think about it,
that pretty well describes what the NSA does when they eavesdrop on emails and phone calls.
This is judicial tyranny. I mean, all you have to do is go over to the NYC ‘stop, ?, frisk’ thread to see just how many here approve of the measure /s
‘Bout time one of ‘em got it right. If we had our true Rights (Con. carry), what would they be using to harass everyone? /semi-s
“...what would they be using to harass everyone?...”
They would think of something else, I’m sure.
I wish courts and police could recognize and apply the "invisibility rule" which applies in social situations where one would entitled to look in otherwise semi-private areas for one very specific thing, and those areas contain things other than what one is looking for. As an example, if an overnight guest discovers at 2am that the toilet-paper dispenser is empty, the guest may be entitled to search some bathroom cabinets or cupboards purely for the purpose of finding toilet paper without disturbing the host. The guest would not, however, be entitled to take any notice of anything other than toilet paper which those cabinets or cupboards might contain, except perhaps in deciding how to best minimize any potential embarrassment the next morning when informing the host that a roll has been taken from the closest or cupboard.
To really enforce the invisibility rule (or for that matter give much meaning to the Fourth Amendnment at all), courts would also have to recognize that before performing actions which would require e.g. reasonable suspicion, officers must articulate (if possible) and/or record the basis for such suspicions. Things which an officer found but was not entitled to notice would not be allowable as an articulable basis for suspicion. A cop who observed enough things to justify a search but was undecided about whether to conduct one, and then found things he was not entitled to notice, might have his judgment influenced by the things he wasn't supposed to have noticed, but would have to demonstrate that he would have had sufficient basis to justify for the search even if he had not found those things.